Category Archives: Newsletter

Any post that is intended to edn up in the bi-monthly news letter


“Maury, at this time of Thanksgiving I would like to thank you for all you do for the APA Union. Your behind the scenes work to make sure our members whether individually or collectively are treated fairly is appreciated more than you know. Not all of the employees on campus still receive the December 1st longevity pay, but I thank you for your work to keep this benefit for our APA Union.”

Community Based Events Committee

Making a difference, One coat at a time.

The 2016 APA Coat Drive is wrapping up as this newsletter is being written.

We would like to thank all of the volunteers who are making this year’s coat drive a success.

We had 17 site hosts that either put a bin in their office or mail room to collect cold weather items this year. We would like to thank those members, the CBE Committee members who are sorting coats, as well as the wonderful MSU community that donated items. Through their efforts the APA union is making a positive impact on our community!

MSU is a special place, filled with generous people who donated items for the coat drive. With hats, mittens, coats and boots, we are doing our part to help Migrant Student Services and the Lansing District Schools, keep students warm this winter!

Should you have an interest in participating in next year’s coat drive or if you have a suggestion for a community based event, please contact: Dennis Seybert, Community Based Events Committee Chair at or 517-999-4004, or any member of the committee:

Sue Brandt
Danielle Flaumenhaft
Shawn Mahorney
Deb Porter
Nicole Proctor
Tami Smith
Tammy Slocum
Laura Wise
Elizabeth Wheeler


The FLSA Overtime Rules Are On Hold

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs the rules regarding overtime for workers and employers.  In May of 2016, President Obama made significant changes to the rules allowing more than 4 million more workers to become eligible for overtime – and some of these folks are APA members!

The new rule for FLSA was set to take affect beginning December 1, 2016, allowing anyone who makes less than $47,476 per year to be eligible for overtime.

Currently, per Article 18 of the APA Contract, APA members who are at level AP11 and below are eligible for overtime (at time and one-half) for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek. APA members who are level AP12 and above are not eligible for overtime; however, they can earn compensatory time with supervisor approval at the rate of straight time.

As a result of changes to FLSA, MSU must now track hours for some APA members who had not previously had to track their hours. By law, MSU will be required to pay overtime to any APA member who makes less than $47,476 and works in excess of 40 hours in a week.

However, the Department of Labor’s revised Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime rules were blocked on November 22, 2016 by a federal judge in Texas. Judge Amos Mazzant issued a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the Department of Labor from implementing the new FLSA rules nationwide.

Therefore, on December 1, 2016, MSU will not be legally obligated to implement the new annual salary threshold of $47,476 regarding eligibility for APA members to receive overtime. With the incoming presidential administration, it remains unclear whether the new threshold will ever take effect. Yet, the APA is working in coordination with NEA as our national union to influence the official implementation of the new overtime rule.

The APA has directly communicated with those individuals who are impacted by the new FLSA rule change and we will continue to keep the entire membership informed with any relevant updates.

Area Rep Spotlight

by Sue Brandt, Communications Committee

New this month we will begin featuring one of the APA Area Representatives (AR’s) in each of the newsletters so you can get to know them a little better or maybe even for the first time. The AR’s are appointed by the Executive Board and their role is to assist with distributing APA materials and information and to serve as a resource for members. AR’s are assigned to a geographic area of campus, so if there is not an AR in your immediate building, you can find one nearby. For a list of AR’s go to

AR Spotlight – Danielle Flaumenhaft

What is your job title? Human Resource Administrator

What area of campus, building and department do you work in? South part of campus in the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health (DCPAH).

How long have you been at MSU? 2.5 years

How long have you been an Area Rep? 1.5 years

Why is being a member of the Union important to you? Being a member of the union provides a support group for all the good and bad in the work place. The Union is a great resource for all. I have  found great connections with staff across campus.

What words of advice do you have for new hires at MSU? Enjoy campus and get to know everyone.

What do you love about working at MSU? I love all the people I get to work with.

What do you like to do when you are not at work? Hang out with family!

Questions From The Trenches

For this installment of APA Questions From The Trenches, we asked APA President Maury Koffman to answer questions regarding the APA contract and our wage and health care agreement.

Can you explain the interaction between our APA contract and the wage and health care agreement?

For the last 15+ years, the APA has helped lead negotiations with the other campus support staff unions to bargain a joint agreement for all unionized campus staff regarding wages and health care. In effect, the wage and health care agreement means that all support staff on campus are afforded the same health care coverage and eligible annual base wage increase amounts.  

In addition, each bargaining unit including the APA negotiates a separate contract that outlines all other matters related to wages, hours, and conditions of employment. In essence, the APA contract stipulates all matters related to AP employment except minimum annual base wage increase amounts and health care coverage options. That means the APA negotiates matters such as sick and vacation time, longevity pay, educational assistance, and other non-wage and health care benefits separately for APA members.

How long is the current APA contract in place?

The current APA contract is in place through September 30, 2019.

How long is the current wage and health care contract in place?

The current wage and health care agreement is in place through December 31, 2017, and guarantees fully funded health care coverage for the base plan (BCN) with no monthly premium for single, double, or family coverage.

When will we negotiate a new contract?

The APA anticipates negotiating a new wage and health care agreement in the spring and summer of 2017. Regarding the APA contract, we will likely return to the negotiation table with MSU in early summer of 2019.

Where can I review the APA contract and the wage and health care agreement?

Electronic versions of the APA contract and the wage and health care agreement can be found on the APA website at:

Who can I contact for more information or if I have questions or concerns?

Please feel free to reach the APA office anytime via email at or call us during regular business hours at 517.999.4004.

APA Know Your Contract – Compensation

by Melanie Waltz, MEA Uniserv Director

Compensation increases can happen multiple times during the year.  We are currently in-between two of the most common wage increase opportunities.

In October, you received a 1% increase in your wage – provided you had a satisfactory rating on your latest Performance Evaluation.

Article 17, Section II, of the current APA Collective Bargaining Agreement outlines the wage increase.

-122 Effective October 1, 2016, one percent (1%) general salary increase monies will be calculated from the September 30, 2016 total salary base. The general salary increase percentage will be made available for all eligible Employees.
The salary increase will be made to all Employees who received a satisfactory rating on the latest Employee evaluation. For purposes of this provision, an Employee shall not be considered unsatisfactory until the Employee’s performance “Does Not Meet” expectations in two consecutive evaluations.

  1. If the general salary increase is one percent (1%) or less, it will be allocated across-the-board and calculated on the September 30, 2016 Employee’s base wage.
  2. If the percent general salary increase is above one percent (1%), monies will be allocated as follows: sixty percent (60%) of which will be allocated on the basis of merit consideration and forty percent (40%) of which will be allocated across-the-board.

APA has already announced that the wage increase for October 2017 will be 1.9%; therefore, 60% of the increase will be allocated based on merit.

In addition to the October wage increase, many APA members will also be receiving an additional wage increase in January 2017.  All members who have completed at least one year of service with a satisfactory Performance Evaluation – and who fall within the Salary Progression for their level – will see an additional wage increase up to 3%.

Article 17, Section II, of the current APA Collective Bargaining Agreement outlines the wage increase for those members within the Salary Progression.

-127 Salary Progression increase consideration will be given to Employees who have completed at least one (1) year of service on the effective date of the increase, whose most recent Performance Development Plan is “Meets Expectations” or higher; and whose salary is less than one hundred twenty-five (125%) percent of the minimum hiring level.

-128 Employees shall receive a progression increase upon completion of one year, for the first year only.

-130 Effective January 1, 2017, eligible Employees will receive progression increases in the amount of three (3%) percent up to the 125% level. Employees will not receive progression increases if they received a “Does Not Meet” rating on their most recent Performance Development Plan.

The following chart shows the minimum and maximum progression for each grade level, effective October 1, 2016:

Grade Level Minimum Level Progression Level
8 33,557 41,946
9 36,257 45,321
10 39,142 48,928
11 42,291 52,864
12 45,667 57,084
13 49,305 61,631
14 53,247 66,559
15 57,508 71,885
16 62,105 77,631
17 67,075 83,844

Therefore, if your wage is between the minimum level and the maximum progression level, you will be eligible for up to a 3% increase January 1, 2017.  You will receive the entire 3% unless the difference between your current wage and the top progression is less than 3% – in that case, you will receive the maximum amount allowed to bring you to the top of the progression level.

However, remember that the top progression wage for each grade level is only the point at which you cease to receive the automatic 3% increases.  The APA contract does not limit the maximum wage for any grade level.  The APA offers a “More You Know” lunch training to members with strategies to increase you compensation.  Look for the email invitation for this training, as well as other APA lunch training sessions.

To review your APA contractual provisions, go to:

If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance by contacting the MSU APA office at (517) 999-4004 or by email at

A Fellow APA Ashley Latinen

Interview by Nicki Walker, APA Communications Committee

Meet Ashley Latinen, our highlighted APA member from RHS Planning and Projects Office.

What is your job title?

Interior Designer

How long have you been at MSU?

I graduated here with a Bachelor of Arts in interior design in 2006 then returned to work here full time in March of 2012.

Have you been a member of the APA the whole time?


What department do you work in, and can you tell me a little bit about what you do?

I work for Planning and Projects Office, a department in Residential and Hospitality Services (RHS). We work on small to large scale projects across campus for the RHS departments–Residence Education and Housing Services, Spartan Hospitality Group and Culinary Services, to name a few. We apply professional design skills and collaboration when answering requests for design needs. A successful project outcome for us is a happy customer, a functional and aesthetic space and one that completes on time and under budget.

What brought you to your job at MSU?

I always knew I wanted to come back to my Alma Mater, so as soon as I saw this job posting I applied and was thrilled to be offered the job!

What do you love about working at MSU?

I love the energy the students bring to campus. I love working on projects that directly affect spaces where students will learn, grow and interact with one another. A great space helps students achieve success.

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I love spending time with my husband and two young daughters. I love being physically active–biking, running, and swimming.

The 2017 MEA Scholarship Application

Last year, 19 new winners and 15 returning college students were awarded scholarships totaling $30,300. The dollar amount for the 2017 scholarships and the number of scholarships to be awarded will be determined at the March 30, 2017 Scholarship Fund Trustee’s meeting.

Scholarships will be awarded to dependents of MEA members in good standing who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Dependent of MEA member or MEA-Retired member in good standing.
  • Graduate of a Michigan public high school or private high school that has an MEA bargaining unit.
  • Will attend or is currently an undergraduate student of a Michigan public community/junior college, four-year degree-granting institution, or vocational training institution that grants a degree, certification or license. Those attending the following private institutions ONLY are also eligible: Baker College-Flint/Owosso; University of Detroit–Mercy; Adrian College; Finlandia University; and Albion College. (The aforementioned private institutions are existing local MEA affiliates.)
  • The scholarship will not be awarded for the purpose of working on a post-baccalaureate degree.

For more information, and to complete the 2017 MEA Scholarship application form online, go to the following link:

The online application allows users to enter text into it and then can be saved and printed to mail. The Deadline is February 23, 2017.

If you need additional information, please contact Barb Hitchcock at